Sony Vaio AIO can't POST but HDD is active.

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nslongr

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Sony VAIO AIO model SVL241290X, Core i7, 2Tb HDD 64 bit, started doing a startup/shutdown constantly (not exactly a loop) never getting to POST or Welcome screen for Windows 10. It started doing it when I hooked up an old HDD to move files from it to the VAIO which had been in a machine that did the same thing. Thought it was a bad motherboard on the old PC, but now I think it's a virus. Whenever I power the VAIO down by pressing/holding the power button, and starting it up again, it just resumes with HDD activity but never shows anything on the monitor. Even the VAIO Assist button doesn't work. Also can't get to BIOS or Safe Mode. Sounds like a virus - maybe a rootkit MBR virus? Right now I can't do anything with this machine. Normal troubleshooting does not work. I don't have any restore discs or bootable recovery discs, although I am creating a copy of Windows 10 on USB drive with Microsoft's Media Creation Tool. But, without being able to designate the USB port to look at first in BIOS, that won't work either. Most important things are backed up, but I have a few things I would not like to lose. Any suggestions?
 

Darkbreeze

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In any case, I'd probably recommend that you backup whatever you can, then download and run Seatools for windows on every one of these drives, even if it means connecting them to another system, to check their health status. Seatools for Windows works on all drive brands and types. Run the Short DST and long generic. If it fails either test, check the cables, if it still fails, try a different motherboard SATA header. If it still fails, replace the drive. There is also a bootable DOS version if you are unable to boot into windows.


Seatools for Windows: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/


Seatools for DOS: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-dos-master/

 

Darkbreeze

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That should be your clue right there. Have you tried booting WITHOUT that drive attached. If that drive was in another system, that was doing the same thing, and it's not the boot drive, then it's a faulty drive, not a virus. A bad drive can make a system fail to boot, fail to power up or a variety of other behaviors. Even if it's not the boot drive.

Are you connecting this drive as a secondary drive or as the primary boot drive? My advice would be that if the other system did it with the drive installed and this system does as well, it's a failed drive.
 

nslongr

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Yes, that old drive just had files on it I wanted to transfer to the VAIO, but now the VAIO won't go into a boot sequence with or without the old HDD attached. That was the boot drive in the old machine.
 

Darkbreeze

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Ok, so have you tried booting the VAIO with a DIFFERENT drive that HAS an OS installed on it? Does the unit post? Can you access the BIOS? Of course the unit won't boot if the old HDD was the boot drive and it's not installed. Clearly a computer can't boot without having a drive with an OS on it.
 

nslongr

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nslongr

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The external drive came from a pc that had the same non-booting problem that had apparently been passed on to the VAIO. Did not try to boot the VAIO with it, just tried to get files off of it. Hooked it up with a sata to USB connector. I never could get it to go to the folder I wanted. The VAIO got really slow about then, so I rebooted it, with the old drive still hooked up (like an idiot), and that's when the VAIO started doing the same start up shut down behavior continually.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
In any case, I'd probably recommend that you backup whatever you can, then download and run Seatools for windows on every one of these drives, even if it means connecting them to another system, to check their health status. Seatools for Windows works on all drive brands and types. Run the Short DST and long generic. If it fails either test, check the cables, if it still fails, try a different motherboard SATA header. If it still fails, replace the drive. There is also a bootable DOS version if you are unable to boot into windows.


Seatools for Windows: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/


Seatools for DOS: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-dos-master/

 

nslongr

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Sep 30, 2015
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After taking the VAIO to a trusted local computer shop, it turns out it is a bios virus that affected both the old computer and the VAIO necessitating a new MOBO in both machines.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
In 28 years, or more, of working with and on computers systems, I've never seen a "verified" case of the bios being infected by a virus even though it's theoretically possible. And, on any modern computer the bios should be reflashable via flash drive, replaceable via removable bios ROM chip or at the very least able to be sent to the manufacturer to be factory reflashed for a nominal fee.

In any case though, glad you got it squared away and it's unfortunate you had to purchase new hardware. Good luck and get your virus and malware scanning software installed and keep it regularly updated to help avoid this in the future. Good luck to you.
 
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